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Police seek man who shot pregnant woman

Special photo
Lake City Police have released this sketch of a man suspected of shooting a pregnant woman, outside her Lake City apartment last November. Police believe he may have worn a disguise during the incident, and that this sketch may show his true appearance.

Special photo Lake City Police have released this sketch of a man suspected of shooting a pregnant woman, outside her Lake City apartment last November. Police believe he may have worn a disguise during the incident, and that this sketch may show his true appearance.

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

The Lake City Police Department has released two sketches of a man they believe shot a pregnant woman outside her apartment last November.

A 29-year-old woman, whose identity was not released by police, was shot in the back on Nov. 24, 2010, by a man she was running away from at the Rainwood Apartments complex, located at 1885 Harper Drive, in Lake City, according to Lake City Police Det. Faith Case.

She said the victim was nine months pregnant at the time of the shooting, and had just gone on maternity leave from her job.

The victim is still alive, although she has had to undergo numerous surgeries because of the shooting, Case said. She added the victim's son was born with "pellets" in one of his wrists, but he is also alive.

Case said the identity of the victim, and her present location, are not being released at this time to protect her from further harm.

"Somebody knows where this guy is hiding, and we need to know where he is, so we can arrest him and put him behind bars," Case said. "She just wanted to have her baby and live a normal life, and this guy tried to kill her and her baby."

Case said she believes the suspect was specifically targeting the victim, although it is not yet clear what his motivation was. The detective said the woman was "a good person," who came from a religious family, and was not involved in gangs or drug activity. She added the victim does not know her attacker.

She had been living in Lake City for a year before the shooting occurred, and police had never been called to her apartment for any reason before she was shot, Case said.

The detective said, however, witnesses reported seeing the suspect hanging around the victim's apartment complex "off, and on all day" before the shooting occurred. "He didn't speak to any of the witnesses who saw him," she said. "Of course, he never said anything to her either..."

Two sketches of the suspect have been released, Case said, because he may have been hiding his true appearance during the shooting. In one sketch, he is wearing a hooded sweatshirt with dreadlocks. In the other sketch, he is shown to have a bald head.

The detective said witnesses told police they saw the suspect remove a hat, with dreadlocks attached to it, while he was standing around the apartment complex earlier in the day. They claimed he was bald underneath the cap, she said.

"It was a disguise," Case said. "He was trying not to be recognized."

The suspect is described as being a black male, in his mid-to-late twenties, between 5-foot-9-inches, and 5-feet-11-inches tall, "skinny," with a thin nose and a medium brown skin tone, according to a news release from the Lake City Police Department.

Case said the suspect walked up to the victim and pointed a gun at her. The weapon is only described as being a "long gun," according to the police department's news release. Case said the suspect never said a word to the victim before he shot her. She was struck on the left side of her lower back, the detective said.

The victim was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment, and spent approximately one, to two weeks in the hospital's intensive care unit after the shooting, according to Case.

"She's had at least four, to five surgeries since the shooting," Case said. "The first was to repair all of the damage done to the inside of her body. She had a lot of internal bleeding, and internal injuries."

The victim gave birth to her baby, a boy, on the same day as the shooting, via an emergency caesarean section, because the baby was in distress from the incident, Case said. She also said the newborn stayed in Grady's intensive care unit for three days following his birth, and doctors have removed the "pellets" from his wrist.

The detective added the infant does not appear to be suffering from any lingering effects of the shooting.

Anyone who has seen the suspect, or who has information about his identity, is asked to call Case at (404)366-8035, ext. 113, or at (404)675-6908.